July 17

Romans 8:19-25

“For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” vss. 24-25

Paul regularly spoke of hope as he wrote to early Christians. He knew that the glories of which he spoke were not readily apparent to them and that they wondered if they would experience resurrection. He also knew that without hope their faith would disintegrate. There are parallels to what he was referring to in our contemporary experience. We’re currently living in the midst of a global pandemic, and while we were told that the disease would soon run its course, some of us are beginning to wonder. We remain hopeful, but in the absence of evidence hope can easily turn to despair. We begin to think that life from now on will continue to be a string of disappointments–and there are plenty of nay-sayers who delight in dashing our hopes. Some are having the same feelings about the issue of racism. This summer’s violence has given rise to cynicism and negativity. Some have lost hope, and are convinced that bigotry will always have the last word–and there are plenty who feed that notion. Paul’s closing word to the Romans was patience, and it’s a good one for us too. There may not be evidence of the things we hope for, that’s the way it is with hope. Our only recourse, apart from despair, is to continue patiently waiting!

Thought for the Day: Which is more powerful for me today? Hope or despair?

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